News: Agriculture ranks highest sector for Fatalities for 8th year running – with elderly most vulnerable

Reports from 2017 named the agri-sector as being the most dangerous profession in Ireland for the 8th year running. Figures released show that elderly farmers are the most vulnerable group when it comes to fatal work related accidents. Of the 24 fatal agri-sector accidents accounted for in 2017, 14 of those were male farmers aged over 65.

There was an increase in all sector work related fatalities in 2017 – with 47 fatal accidents recorded in comparison to 46 in 2016 and of these 24 were agriculture related in 2017 up from 21 the previous year.


key fatalities announced by the HSA:

• 2017 marked the highest number of work related fatalities in Ireland to date across all sectors.
• Following Agriculture the construction and transport sectors had the next highest number of fatalities with six each.
• The counties with the highest number of fatalities in 2017 were Dublin, Mayo and Cork with six each. (all sectors)
• Across all of the sectors, accidents involving vehicles made up 21 of all fatalities in 2017. Falls from a height (six) was the most common cause.
• Most fatalities (28) involved 18-65 year old males; there were 14 men, over 65 killed in the agriculture sector.
• One child fatality was accounted for in the agri-sector.
• Of 47 fatalities reported, 18 were self employed, 15 were employees, seven non-workers and seven family workers

Recent Farm Safety Initiatives

On Friday January 12th, Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority signed a “Joint Initiative Agreement”, to promote farmer health and safety for the next three years. The aim of the initiative is to provide health and safety research, training and advisory support to farmers.

As part of this joint initiative, training on the use of “Farm Safety Code of Practice” will continue to be provided by Teagasc and Agricultural Consultants. Completion of the training is also a requirement for farmers to secure DAFM TAMS11 funding.
The HSA is set to conduct 2,000 farm inspections throughout 2018. Other plans include new guidance for farmers on preventing cow attacks and machinery crush injuries.

During 2018, research on farm accident levels will be conducted by Teagasc through their National Farm Survey.
A jointly funded study on the usefulness of discussion groups in promoting farm safety is also underway by Teagasc.
FRS Training are avid supporters of farm safety and will run many safety courses and farm safety events throughout Ireland. For more information visit or call 1890 201 000.

FRS Training also run TAMS Safety Training Courses. For more information about the course or to see upcoming dates Visit